The pride of Houston, the face of the franchise for Texans fans, was battling back from back injuries and I thought tonight would be the night he fought back to the top of the stat sheet. Like many, I wanted him to return to the glory of his earlier days. Dominating and taking a game over, bringing players and fans alike to their feet in awe. This was what I was hoping for. This was the season of hope for J.J. Watt. So many questions were unanswered heading into Week 5. In IDP circles the whispering has already been ongoing of what should be done with him. Personally, I wanted to see him blow up to recapture the glory of better years.
This icon means more to many than just a star football player. During Hurricane Harvey he started fundraising and 37 million dollars later, he calmed a lot of fears and faith in those affected and in need. His big heart is also seen before games as he often plays catch with kids and is always quick to show support for many different causes. From social media to old-fashioned stops in schools and hospitals he has gone above and beyond expectations for a pro athlete. You could say he was the face of the NFL.
Heading into Week 5, I wondered if we would see one of the best pass rushers I have ever witnessed play the game, or if we would see a glimpse of what was once was. This man has the heart of a lion. Fighting back from injuries is hard enough, but to come back and play at a hall of fame level would be a challenge. If anyone could do it, it would be Watt. I was full of hope for Week 5 and beyond.
During week 5 action, against Kansas City, J.J. Watt injured his left leg. The look on his face left many stunned as we knew he was in serious pain. As of the time of this writing, it looks like he will be lost for the season with a tibial plateau fracture.
One can only wonder how much more he can endure. The physical nature of the NFL and playing in the trenches could continue to take a toll. I have no doubt he could fight and work hard to step back onto the field, but at this point would it be worth it?
In dynasty leagues, he will be placed on a team’s IR spot. It would be best to hold him and see what happens down the line. You will not get the value that he once commanded in a trade. However, if you are able to something in return to help you win this season, then I would consider moving him.
The question is, what happens now? Last season in Watt’s absence the Texans managed to own the top-ranked defense. Impressive! However, Whitney Mercilus was a major part of that defensive front, and he has also been lost for the season. Jadeveon Clooney remains, and with the youngster, Zach Cunningham will be able to help keep this unit competitive. I’m looking at another rookie, Carlos Watkins to jump in and compete. A healthy scratch last week tells you he may not be ready, but he will get some snaps, and we shall see. I’m not actively looking to add his replacement as I do feel a committee approach coming.
I wish nothing but the speediest of recoveries for you J.J. Watt.
Let us know your favorite plays from this legend. Hit me up anytime on Twitter @DFF_JohnIDP.